Life is a choice, the sentence we often hear and can be associated with many things. Among other things, in choosing what food we will consume, is it the delicious food or healthy food?
The fact is that many delicious foods are not healthy, likewise healthy foods are often difficult to become favorite foods and one of them is natto, a soybean processed food that is widely consumed in Japan.
For Japanese people, besides benefits of yam bean, natto is liked because of its delicious taste and fortunately, natto is also a food that has many health benefits. This is also believed to be one of the reasons why the Japanese population is known to have a long and relatively healthy life compared to other countries.
Natto is a traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans so it has a sticky, fibrous, and slimy texture. Natto, which is fermented by the bacteria Bacillus subtilis, has a nutty taste with a sharp aroma like benefits of ginseng.
To add flavor, Japanese people consume natto by mixing other ingredients, such as soy sauce and mustard – plus a bowl of white rice (which is a must). As a processed soybean, natto is a typical food of Sakura country with nutrition that is not so little that includes macro nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
The benefits of natto collectively are primarily maintaining the health of blood vessels and heart, and preventing the occurrence of various other diseases related to blood vessels such as strokes and kidney problems.
Can people in other countries get the same benefits? Of course, that is by following the good habits of Japanese people in consuming and enjoying natto every day.
Because to get the optimal benefits of natto, it needs to be consumed every day in sufficient quantities and that’s why, Japanese people are accustomed to processing natto in many creative ways.
Natto is sometimes eaten directly with plain white rice, or it can be mixed into other dishes such as soup. The problem is not everyone likes natto due to its distinctive aroma and sticky nature that it may be difficult for us to make it our daily food. However, its benefits might interest you, such as:
1. Prevent Bone Loss
Natto is rich in vitamins K1 and K2, very different from benefits of cinnamon. You need to know, vitamin K1 is generally found in a number of green leafy vegetables while vitamin K2 is produced by bacteria. In fact, not many foods contain vitamin K1 or vitamin K2.
Remarkably, the nutritional content of this nutritious food contains both types of rare vitamins. In a 100 gram serving, you can get 23.1 micrograms of vitamin K or 29% of the recommended daily nutritional intake.
For the body, this vital vitamin helps regulate blood clotting, calcification of the arteries and prevents bone loss. And further protecting from Vitamin K deficiency that could lead to osteoporosis and increased bleeding.
2. Natural Laxative
Natto is a super healthy food because the soybeans are made from the fermentation process. If you consume unfermented processed soybeans, it may cause a number of health problems such as hormone and thyroid disorders.
Fermented soybeans contain a large number of bacterial contents that are good for health. These bacteria can keep your digestive system healthy and act as a natural laxative so if you are looking for natural remedies to treat constipation, natto can be the right reference.
3. Strengthens Bones and Teeth
100 grams of natto contains 217 milligrams of calcium (about 22% of the recommended daily intake of nutrients) and 115 milligrams of magnesium (29% of the recommended daily intake of nutrients).
It is common knowledge that calcium is very good for healthy bones and teeth but maybe not many people know that magnesium is very important to absorb calcium.
Unlike benefits of garlic, natto contains both of these minerals in large levels and that’s why, these superfoods are considered to be ideal foods for strengthening bones and protecting the body from bone-related diseases such as gout, osteoporosis and arthritis.
4. Build Cells and Muscles
Natto is very popular among vegetarians because they can get the essential nutrients that are usually obtained from animal protein such as meat and all other processed products.
In 100 grams of natto there are 17.7 milligrams of protein (or about 35% of the recommended daily nutritional intake) including 8 types of essential amino acids, and this protein content is useful for building cells and muscles.
Apart from protein, natto also contains 8.6 milligrams of iron (about 48% of the recommended daily nutritional intake) which the body really needs in the process of transporting oxygen to the lungs.
5. Counteract Free Radicals
In 100 grams of natto there are 13 milligrams of Vitamin C or about 22% of the recommended daily nutritional intake. As you know, apart from being a very essential vitamin, vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants that you can also find in benefits of celery.
This vitamin can protect you from health problems caused by free radicals which, if left untreated, can lead to cancer and degenerative diseases such as macular degeneration and cystic fibrosis. In addition, vitamin C in natto is useful for boosting the immune system naturally.
6. Helps Lose Weight
Did you know that 100 grams of natto contain 212 calories and 5 grams of fiber. That is why this superfood is a healthy menu choice for people who are eager for a slim body, and if you want to go on a diet, eat natto at breakfast.
Apart from fiber, 100 grams of natto also contain 11 grams of fat so you don’t need to worry about gaining weight if you eat it every day because these foods contain good fats that the body needs for energy.